The Sigh of Relief You Just Heard Was From the Earth Itself: U.S. Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Extension Signed Into Law

earth from space photo

photo: blueforce4116.

By hook or by crook, the renewable energy tax incentive legislation which was stalled in Congress for so long, only to be passed, then to stall again a few days later, has been approved by both the House and the Senate, and already signed into law by President Bush.

What broke the impasse? Tacking on the legislation to save the US economy from imploding, that’s what. Wall Street may still be in trouble—I wouldn’t want to be a bank exec anywhere near a mob with ropes, pitchforks of open flame let me tell you—but the renewable energy industry is coming out ahead. This is what is being said about the long-awaited renewable energy tax incentive extension:While members of Congress and the President have understandably focused on the bill’s effect on the financial crisis, meltdown, bailout, great shaking out of 2008 (call it what you will), the renewable energy industry was equally understandably enthused.

Bill Will Stimulate Continued Wind Energy Growth
The American Wind Energy Association:

We salute Members of Congress in both parties who fought under difficult conditions to keep the renewable energy production tax credit and small turbine investment tax credit on the agenda until the very end, and then pushed them across the finish line. These tax credits are essential to the continued growth of wind energy, to the economic and energy security of the United States, and to a successful beginning in the fight against global warming.

Tax Credit Extension Will Let Solar Flourish
Vice President of Sharp Solar, Ron Kenedi:
Solar is becoming a competitive energy source that can address our nation’s growing energy demands with a clean, reliable and renewable source of power. The solar industry is now scaling up to bring down manufacturing and installation costs, build its infrastructure, grow public awareness, and attract customers. The 8-year extension of the solar investment tax credit will help the solar industry flourish to its full potential.

Hundreds of Thousands of Green Energy Jobs
Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope:
We are relieved that the financial package that has now passed the House and Senate includes vital job-saving extensions of tax incentives to support investment in and production of clean renewable energy as well as energy efficiency products and programs.  The extension of these provisions will save tens of thousands of jobs that were already at risk, and paves the way for hundreds of thousands more to be created in the years to come.

Passing these renewable energy tax incentives for wind and solar represents one of the most important ways America can enable the transition to a clean energy economy. Supporting investment in these clean energy technologies will create new high wage American jobs, save consumers money on their energy bills and reduce global warming pollution.

In Brief, What’s Been Approved
Wind power tax credits have been extended for one year; other types of renewable energy such as small-scale hydro or tidal power have been extended for two years. The bigger news is that solar tax credits for businesses and residential installations have been extended for eight years. The entire package amounts to $18 billion in tax credits and will be partially paid for by closing tax loopholes for the oil and gas industry.

More on the bailout/renewable energy bill at :: Renewable Energy World, :: BBC News, :: CNN
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